Maurice Willson Disher (1893-1969), British theatre critic and playwright
16 December 1948. 24 Bradstock Road, Ewell, Surrey.
4to, 1 p. Trimming at head has resulted in loss to the first line of Disher's address; otherwise text clear and complete. On lightly-aged and creased paper, with jagged trimming at head and in bottom right-hand corner, and three punch holes to margin. Bearing the stamp of the Secretary's Office, Clarendon Press, Oxford. He is returning the 'corrected typescript' and is setting out his qualfications. The bottom section to the letter contain eight lines of these. Disher describes himself as 'contributor to leading journals on the subject of public entertainments in general'.
'Louise Dale' [stage name of Louise Mary Delany (d. 1954), singer, who married Ronald Hamilton Earle (1874-1919), bass singer; and then Sir Henry Mulleneux Grayson (1865-1951), shipping magnate]
The first: 26 December , on letterhead of 3 Herbert Crescent, Hans Place.The second: 8 Jan [1924?]; 3 Herbert Crescent, Hyde Park, on cancelled letterhead of 91 Gloucester Terrace.
Both letters are tipped in on a captioned sheet removed from an autograph album. Both items lightly-aged, but good. Item One: 12mo, 1 p. Inviting him to 'a small dance for Hubie' at a location 'lent by Miss Constable'. 'You need not dance!' Item two: 12mo, 1 p. Asking him to 'come fairly early' the next day, and to 'stay on after the children have gone & have supper - of a sort'. Refers to 'H's party'.
Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill (1794-1840), aristocrat and army officer, second son of the fifth Duke of Marlborough [London theatres]
3 May [1835?]; 24 Pulteney Street, Bath.
4to, 3 pp. Bifolium. Fifty lines of text. Clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged and worn paper. He is willing 'to become a Patronizer' of the 'Society', and gives directions regarding shares. Suggests that 'the Committee should be a little more dovetailed with men of Rank & M.P.s as People always look at the Names in a Committee [...] I trust the Theatre will be West of Regent Street if Possible or of the Pantheon, & that the Committee Room may likewise be in the West'.
S. M.' [banjo tutor in Acton, West London; black and white minstrels]
Dated 'S.M. Septr. 26:08.' On letterhead of 'Holme-Lacey, 7, Hereford Road, Acton, W.'
12mo, 2pp. On bifolium. Aged and grubby. Testimony to the popularity of the black and white minstrel genre, at an early date. The drawing, beside the letterhead, is approximately 3.5 x 5 cm, in black and red. On the soles of the banjo-player's shoes is 'S M | 1908', and beneath it the caption 'Lessons'. Gives dates and times of lessons to 'Rackham', 'Miss Tipper', 'Matthias', 'Clayson', 'Mauchel' and others.
The original metal plates for 102 engravings by Thomas Downey, caricatures of leading English theatrical figures, including Mrs Patrick Campbell, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, George Robey, George Alexander and Marie Tempest, in performances on the London stage between 1913 and 1917.A friend of the artist Alfred Bryan (1852-1899), Downey was active from the late 1890s (when he contributed to J. K. Jerome's Idler magazine) to the 1930s.
Peter Dee [Peter Rogers Dee] (1939-1999), New York playwright and poet
[Unpublished typescript.] [Circa 1992.]
Photocopy of word processor typed print-out. 8vo, [ii] + 53 pp. Good. In plastic binder. Title carries Dee's address. Second page lists the twelve sections of the play. Loosely inserted is a photocopy of a long review, with photograph, from the East Hampton Star, 26 March 1992, of 'a dramatic reading' of the play at Canio's Books, Sag Harbor. The play was not published, and there are no copies of this item on WorldCat or COPAC.
Iain Hamilton (1922-2000), Scottish composer, chairman of the 'Music Today' contemporary music programmes, held in the Royal Festival Hall Recital Room [Samuel Beckett]
All items dating from 1960.
For more information relating to this influential series of concerts, see 'Pursuit: The Uncensored Memoirs of John Calder' (2001). Seven items, including two duplicates. Text of all items clear and complete. In fair condition, but with one side of a duplicate advertisement heavily sunned (see below). ONE: Typed Letter Signed ('Ian Hamilton') from Hamilton to Conn (husband of the poet Jeanne Conn), 12 February 1960. 4to, 1 p. Eighteen lines. Responding to Conn's criticisms, explaining reasons for cutting short discussion and cancelling part of the programme, and giving future plans.
William Hogarth; Machell Stace, bookseller, 5 Middle Scotland Yard
Beneath the plate: 'Publish'd as the Act directs by Machell Stace Augt. 24th. 1807'.
On one side of a piece of wove paper, roughly 400 x 250 mm. Dimensions of engraving roughly 130 x 180 mm. Good, on heavily-foxed and lightly-creased paper. The sketch shows a well-dressed flautist playing his instrument in a market square, with money, clothes and food drawn to him from onlookers as if by magnetism. Beneath the print, in a variety of types and point sizes: 'Speedily will be Published, Inscribed to all Lovers of Tweedledum Tweedle, The Art of Playing upon People: or, Memoirs of the German Flute. Interspersed with The Character of Baron Steeple; [...]'.
J. H. Barnes [John H. Barnes] (1850-1925), English actor [The Prince of Wales Theatre, London]
24 November 1899; on letterhead of 25 Finchley Road, London, N.W.
4to, 2 pp. Text clear and complete. On aged and lightly-creased paper. 'The nature of my business is a desire to become a tenant of the Prince of Wales Theatre, for a long or short time, and entirely subject to existing arrangements in order to produce a play which good judges (as well as myself) regard as one (if not the) play of the present generation'. The name of the play is not given. Barnes states that 'if Mr Harvey is your permanent tenant it would quite suit me to do the play at any time <?> another provincial Town'. He offers 'a short or long lease [...] with unimpeachable security'.
5 April 1920; on letterhead of the Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.
4to, 2 pp. Fair, on aged and lightly-creased paper. The play 'is a great success in London and is likely to have a long run there, yet at the same time we are all looking forward to coming back to Manchester, where the play started and everybody was so kind to us'. She concludes with some graceful compliments to Bass, and encloses her portrait (not present).
Jenny Lind [Johanna Maria Lind; Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt] (1820-1887), opera singer, known as 'the Swedish Nightingale'
[London, England; 1855.]
4to, 3 pp. Bifolium. Text clear and complete. Fair, on aged paper, with minor evidence of the letter having been laid down on the blank reverse of the second leaf. Thirty names, with sums subscribed. The list is headed 'The Lord Mayor (Salomons) 5. - [five pounds]'. (David Salomons was Lord Mayor of London in 1855.] Several of the names are ticked in pencil, with another noted as 'Not paid' and another as 'Dead'. Among the subscribers is the poet Martin Farquhar Tupper (one pound). Jenny Lind had raised money for the "[Florence] Nightingale Fund".
John Y. Mason [John Young Mason] (1799-1859), U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary to France, 1853-1859 [James William Wallack (1764-1864), Anglo-American actor]
15 June 1855; 13 Rye Beaujon (on letterhead of the Paris Legation of the United States).
4to, 1 p. Twenty lines. Text clear and complete. On aged and lightly-creased paper. Responding to 'the kind note of his esteemed Country woman Mrs. Wallack'. He is 'gratified to learn, that Mr. Wallack will present to the Parisian public representations in the English language, of the best of our Tragedies & Comedies'. He wishes the Wallacks 'the most complete success, and will with pleasure attend the performances, when his health will permit him & his family to do so'. Two of Mason's family will take up Wallack's offer of tickets for the opening.
Undated. On letterhead of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
12mo, 2 pp. On bifolium. 12 lines. Text clear and complete. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Part of the leaf to which the item was attached in an autograph album adhering to blank part of reverse of second leaf. 'Miss Cross' has written to him again, 'desiring me to use my influence in obtaining an engagement for her. - She states she is "quite disengaged now" '. Sothern states that when she made a similar request on a previous occasion 'there was some little misunderstanding', so he considers it best to 'drop you a line'.
Reed Kent (pseudonym?) [Bram Stoker; Dracula; Michael Macdona, theatre producer]
Macdona Productions Ltd, 34 Danbury Street, London. [Performed (in the nineteen-seventies?) at Bognor and Clacton.]
Dimensions 25 x 20 cm: [ii] + 87 pp, all on rectos. Bound in stained yellow wraps, with black tape spine. Well-thumbed, but in fair condition internally, tight, clear and complete. The names of the eight actors are added in pencil in the list of characters. In the first six cases only the christian names are given ('Dracula' is given as 'Alan'), but 'Professor Abraham van Helsing' is played by Andrew Turner, and 'Lucy Westenra' by Jannina Tredwell (who featured in a 1974 revival of the musical 'Hair').
29 May 1955, and 5 and 12 March and 19 April 1956. All on letterheads of Margaret Ramsay Ltd, Play Agent.
All four items good, on lightly aged paper. Two of the five leaves have small dog-ears to corners. Goodman has done his accounts on the blank reverse of one leaf. An important collection, in which the most important British post-war play agent reveals, in entertaining and increasingly-brusque terms, the criteria by which she judges scripts. Goodman was hailed by Jacques Barzun as 'the greatest living master of true-crime literature', but his first love was, as his obituary in the Daily Telegraph (16 January 2008) states, the theatre.
On one side of a piece of laid paper, 25 x 17.5 cm. Text clear and complete. Aged, foxed and creased. Giving casts of the two plays (the first headed by 'Mr. Waddy' as 'Twineall'; and the second by 'Mr. Inchbald' as 'Don Antonio'. After the first cast list: 'End of the PLay, an Address in the Character of The Genius of Charity. To be spoken by Mrs. Sharpe.' At foot: 'Tickets too be had at W. Keymer's Printing-Office; and Places for the Boxes may be taken at the Theatre from Ten to Twelve o'Clock each Day.
Clifton College, Bristol [John Percival, Bishop of Hereford; Rev. William Done Bushell]
[Bristol?] 20 December 1865.
12mo (leaf dimensions 19 x 12 cm), 3 pp. Bifolium. Printed on pink paper. Text clear and complete. Creased, and with the blank reverse of the second leaf adhering to a leaf from a contemporary album. The first page is headed 'Clifton College. Choir Concert, Wednesday evening, December 20, 1865.' It gives the names of the stewards, organist, conductor and members of the choir (divided into 'Treble, 1mo', 'Treble, 2do', alto, tenor and bass). The programme, in two parts, covers the central two pages, with music by Mendelssohn, Rossini, Handel, Spohr and others. From the album of Rev.
The Edinburgh International Festival, 1958 [Victor Conn of Eltham]
[1958. Items from England and Scotland, collected in 'A Collins Scrap Book'.]
Around 140 items, laid down on 53 pp of a contemporary 37 x 25 cm stapled scrapbook. In original red and orange wraps, with 'Edinburgh Festival 1958' in manuscript on front cover. The collection is in good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with occasional items a little discoloured from mounting. The scrapbook itself is slightly grubby and ruckled. Collected by Victor Conn of Eltham, London, who was presumably responsible for the neat captions to some newspaper cuttings and other items.
Charlotte Helen Sainton-Dolby (1821-85), English contralto singer
Date and place not stated.
Dimensions roughly two and a half inches by four and a half wide. Clear, bold signature on aged paper. Reads '<...> believe me Gill's friend as well as your own | [signature] Charlotte H Dolby'. Reverse reads '<...> says, because I get mixed up with such a lot of people, and lose my individuality in the <...>'.
Photograph (upper body, seated and besuited), c.8 x 13cms, characteristic signature beneath with place and dat, all in Lehar's hand, on page extracted from an album of autographs accumulated by Harry Woord Wolling, BBC producer (?). Suitable for framing.
On page extracted from an album of inscriptions with photographs by composers, actors, etc. Good condition. Inscribed by Strauss as follows: "Herr?] Harry Woord Wolling / Richard Strauss / Wien 15.12.23". The signature is bold. Scan provided on request.
John Hullah [John Pyke Hullah] (1812-1884), English composer and music teacher
Without date or place.
Cut from a letter. On small rectangle of light-grey paper, roughly 2 x 4 cm. Fair, on aged paper with thin light strip of glue staining along top edge. Neat firm signature, underlined and overlined, reading 'John Hullah'.
Albert Chevalier [Albert Onésime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis Chevalier] (1861-1923), comedian and actor
Date and place not stated.
On a piece of paper 6 x 14 cm. Laid down on part of leaf from autograph album. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Evidently in response to a request for an autograph. Good firm signature, with looped underlining. Reads: ' "We take the compositions as they are" | "Our Bazaar" | [signed] Albert Chevalier'. Chevalier's song 'Our Bazaar' was hugely popular. The published version (1894) gives the authors as Chevalier and Brian Daley, but the British Library ascribes it to John Charles Bond Andrews.
Joseph Hatton (1841-1907), English novelist and journalist [Victorian monologues; nineteenth-century dramatic readings; The Palace Hotel, Buxton]
The Drawing-Room, Palace Hotel, Buxton. Thursday Evening, August 19th, 1880.'
4to, 8 pp. Stitched pamphlet on grey paper. Text clear and complete. Good, though somewhat creased, and a little stained. In small type. Divided into two sections: 'Selections from the opinions of the London press' and 'Selections from the opinions of the provincial press'. In a long quotation on the front page: 'Charles Dickens made the practice famous, and Mr. Joseph Hatton has begun his platform career in the same modest, careful, and unpretentious way [...]'. (p.1, 'From General Press Notices').
R. J. Olive [London theatres of the 1920s; theatrical ephemera]
London: for performances dating from between 1922 and 1927.
On fifty-seven pages, in a notebook of forty leaves (eighty pages). Dimensions: 20 x 16 cm. In red card covers with 'THEATRES' in manuscript on front. Pages aged and ruckled, with a little damp staining at rear (not affecting any of the ephemera) and a small amount of loss to a corner of the rear cover, but in fair condition overall. The first page, signed 'R. J. Olive', with title 'London Theatres'.
Sir James Steuart Wilson (1889-1966), English tenor and musical administrator
The six items from 1948 and 1949. Wilson's letter on BBC letterhead.
The six items good, on aged paper, with the copies of Luckhurst's letters lightly creased. Item One: Copy of Luckhurst to Wilson. 5 October 1948. 4to, 1 p. Asking whether Wilson 'would honour the Society by consenting to deliver the third [Cantor] lecture for which the title "Music - and the Audience" is suggested. [...] the first lecture in the series will be given on March 22nd by Mr. Benjamin Britten, and the second on March 29th by Sir Malcolm Sargent.' Gives details of arrangements and fee. Item Two: Wilson to Luckhurst. Typed Leter Signed. 8 October 1948. 12mo, 1 p.
Sir John Martin-Harvey (1863-1944), English actor-manager
4 June 1899; on letterhead of the Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London W.
12mo, 4 pp. Bifolium. On grey paper. Text clear and complete. Good, with one minor stain not affecting text. Two punch holes at head through both leaves. He congratulates her 'on the success of yr. most clever little play!', and wishes she 'had been there to see it, we had to add a little here and there to fill it out for a big stage [...] it went wonderfully well and the notices are fine!' Proposes, with her permission, to do it again 'at a Lyceum matinee Joe Hurst'. Ends by informing her that 'Mr. Mellish was simply fine.'
Count Basie [Joe Williams; Harold Fielding Concert Division; E.M.I.]
Programme Designed and Produced by The Harold Fielding Organisation and Printed by Claridge, Lewis & Jordan Ltd., 68-70 Wardour Street, W.1'. [Both itmes: London, 1957.]
Two good pieces of jazz ephemera. Both items on shiny art paper and very lightly aged, but in excellent condition overall. The programme: 4to, 12 pp. Stapled pamphlet. Covers in orange and black. An attractive item, with a striking cover entirely consisting of Basie's head, printed in black, floating in a sea of orange colour. Full-page photographs of Basie (at the piano) and Joe Williams (singing at the microphone). Apart from the programme itself, covering a page, the text comprises: a two-page biography of Basie; a one-page feature on Williams; an full-page advertisement by E.M.I.
Douglas Withers, Proprietor, 'Edward Withers, Violin, Violoncello and Bow Maker 22 Wardour Street, Leicester Square, London'
11 November 1942; on the firm's letterhead.
4to, 1 p. Fair, on aged paper, with a couple of closed tears neatly repaired on reverse with archival tape. Letterhead ('Importers of Violin, Violoncello and Harp Strings'), with decorative device of two violins, gives the 'Proprietors' as 'S. Bernard Withers, Douglas S. Withers', but with the first name crossed out. Withers writes that 'In this sad time of the loss of my Brother Bernard' Miss Gunn's 'condolences are sincerely appreciated'.
Edith Coates (1908-1983), English mezzo-soprano opera singer.
Undated; 31 Makepeace Avenue, Highgate, London.
12mo, 1 p. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Punch-hole in top left-hand corner. Replying to an autograph hunter, she states that she has 'signed the programme' and has 'much pleasure in returning it with every good wish'. Good, firm signature.